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Lammeeya,

Damansara Uptown,
45G and 47G Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Utama,
Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7725 9513

[google-map]

These dishes will whet your appetite and remind you of happy moments with loved ones.

FOOD provides sustenance when you are hungry and can be comforting when you are longing for homecooked meals or someone far away.

Most of us grew up with foods of our culture, which also remind us of our roots. So whenever we have food that we are so familiar with, it brings back happy memories of the good old days.

It?s little wonder why comfort foods steeped in culture remain as popular staples and never go out of fashion.

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Deep-fried stuffed beancurd skin,and meatballs (background).

To encourage young people and urban families to remember and honour their parents and elders, Lammeeya has launched a special Tribute to Our Roots campaign beginning this month.

Attanggo (M) Sdn Bhd (Lammeeya’s holding company) chief executive officer Pamela Jan, says: Lammeeya serves Malaysian Chinese cuisine that is close to our hearts. In line with our brand promise of simple, tasty and wholesome food that reminds us of home and our loved ones, we are running the Tribute to Our Roots campaign to spur customers to spend time bonding with their families and loved ones over a good meal.

“I believe the greatest gift we can give to our children is rooted in our Asian culture. We want to motivate young people to cherish their parents and elders, be it their grandparents, uncles and aunts, godparents, old amahs (nursemaids), babysitters or someone senior who has played a significant role in raising and watching them grow to adulthood.”

Jan adds: “The simplest gestures would be meaningful to our elders; from being patient with them and listening to their stories to paying them a visit and treating them to a meal.”

She says there is a series of activities planned for the campaign throughout the year. Until April 30, anyone aged 60 years old and above who dines with a family or group of four at Lammeeya between 6pm and 10pm will be treated to one of three home-style dishes.

“We also invite customers to take a group snapshot with their elderly diner at Lammeeya and submit the photo with a 10-word caption describing their special bond. The winning entry stands to win a RM500 dining voucher at Lammeeya and a family photography package worth RM500 from Covershots,”says Jan.

More than noodles

To me, the name of the restaurant sounds like it?s exhorting me to have ?lam mee ya!?

Jan explains:”The name means ‘lam mee house’ but we have moved away from just serving lam mee. We have local home-cooked cuisine, too.”

Lammeeya had its humble beginnings when three partners took over a shop selling lam mee in Section 8, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, and renovated it. The first Lammeeya outlet was born in 2008. Now, there are five outlets in the Klang Valley, including its flagship outlet in Uptown Damansara, PJ.

At lunch recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Lammeeya does not just serve up its signature lam mee (RM9.80) and chicken kway teow soup (RM8.80) as well as other noodles, but also many familiar home-cooked dishes.

Our dining party shared several dishes, leaving ample tummy space for more variety.

The kway teow soup was a clear, flavourful broth with very fresh unshelled prawns.

Although some diners consider it a hassle to eat, Jan explained that the unshelled prawns lend a richer flavour to the stock and their inherent sweetness is maintained right up to the point they are served.

For starters, we had meatballs (RM8.80) and deep-fried beancurd skin (RM4.80) stuffed with water chestnut, spring onion, mince pork, fish paste and yam bean (sengkuang) ? crispy on the outside and moist within.

As my beverage, I tried carrot, celery and orange juice (RM8.80), which supposedly has blood pressure- and cholesterol-lowering effects and is good for the eyes. Yum!

I noticed that the duck egg char kway teow (RM10.80) was, thankfully, not swimming in oil ? sometimes, the cook can go overboard when stir-frying this noodle dish. Duck eggs yield a richer and creamier taste than chicken eggs.

It took some time to scan the menu to pick the dishes that I longed for as well as new ones to try.

Jan ordered lard steamed rice (RM3) for us. I had never eaten this rice before but be assured, it is less oily than your normal chicken rice. In fact, there is a saucer of (crispy pork fat) and a bit of melted lard to add to your steamed fragrant rice.

Rice with BBQ meat (RM18.80) has char siew, chicken char siew, two types of Chinese sausages and choy sum. Dubbed Four Treasures Rice, this dish is more luxurious than your everyday char siew and chicken rice fare and puts a different spin on the popular Chinese New Year lap mei farn (waxed meat rice). The gravy for the barbecued meats enriches the rice, which is fluffy and nice.

Sesame Oil Ginger Pork (RM10.80) is a superb (mow tuck teng in Cantonese) fragrant dish topped with fried crispy fine ginger strips. The sliced pork is marinated in ginger juice and stir-fried in sesame oil, with a dash of Chinese cooking wine. The meat slices are tender and must be savoured with the crispy ginger strips. This dish may be a popular confinement dish but there?s no harm in having it once in a blue moon.

I was surprised to find a picture of white brinjals on the menu. But the Steamed Brinjal with Sweet and Sour Sauce (RM8.80) was made with purple brinjals that were blanched in hot oil, skinned and then lightly steamed. They were cut into sections but served seemingly ?whole? with a cascade of vinegar, chopped garlic and chillies over it. As you bite into the tender brinjals, you get the tantalising taste of the sumptuous chilli-garlic sauce.

The Steamed Pork with Black Bean Sauce (RM8.80) is like a big steamed lean meat patty studded with soft, aromatic black beans. You can also detect a hint of cooking wine in it. These are not your usual preserved black beans but specially ordered from an uncle in Sungai Siput, Perak, who preserves them. They are soft and not too salty. Also smashingly delicious was the Steamed Pork with Salted Fish (RM9.80), cooked the way all mums would cook it.

I was delighted with the Braised Pork with Potato Slices, a familiar home-cooked dish. Each of us compared notes on the different versions of it, and I tried to guess how the gravy is cooked. Some mums would cook the potatoes with sliced meat, minced meat or make meat patties to cook with the dish. My mum?s version has less black soya sauce, though. Nevertheless, although the dish appeared darker in colour, the gravy was tasty. Yet another reminder of a taste from home!

When I commented that the dishes seemed to have lean meat (not a complaint), Jan recommended Pork Leg with Vinegar (RM14.80) which is best enjoyed if it has fatty pork. The vinegared pork has a sweet sour tang which I liked.

Ginseng Chicken (RM12.80) is a herbal tonic with oomph, particularly if you lack energy and want a nutritious soup.

For cold desserts, we had cendol (RM6.80) and ice kacang (RM7.80). After a big meal, I preferred the smooth taste of cendol with its oh-so-fragrant gula melaka.

This restaurant has a choice of three cakes in its showcase: Tiramisu (RM11), Cheesecake (RM7.50) and Chocolate Moist Cake (RM7.50). Jan ordered all three. Oh, my, these cakes had my stamp of approval.

We also tried Lammeeya?s popular Iced Royal Milk Tea (RM5.40) and Iced White Coffee (RM5.20). Splendid!

Other Lammeeya outlets are at Empire Shopping Gallery (03-5022 2050), 1 Utama Shopping Centre (03-7727 4877), Paradigm Mall (03-7886 8753) and Solaris Dutamas (012-220 4849). For more information about the restaurant and its Tribute to Our Roots campaign, visit facebook.com/lammeeya

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